Many have commented on how much Congress has changed over the last 40 years for a variety of reasons, most noticeably from the increasing importance of political parties in the legislative process and their increased polarization from each other. Has this trend toward what some political scientists have termed, “conditional party government” provided a sharper choice for voters to choose from or has it pushed Congress into a parliamentary cul de sac with no central accountability exit ramps at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue? These were some of the questions this roundtable of former members, congressional staff and area political scientists tackled along with the ultimate question of whether there is any way to restore a greater measure of deliberation and bipartisan national problem-solving.
Professor Julian E. Zelizer
Former Representative from New York
Former Representative from Minnesota
Resident Scholar, BPC Congressional Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Director, BPC’s Democracy Project